The Theoretical Side

Learning to fly Helicopters, or any aircraft, is about learning the piloting skills necessary, and also about learning the theory behind the factors, that influence both yourself, and your aircraft.

As you train to become a pilot, you will cover 6 main topics (and lots of little ones…) They are:


  • Meteorology (Weather)
  • Air Law
  • Human Factors
  • Radio
  • Principles of Flight (Helicopter)
  • Navigation


These theory subjects give you a range, and base of information, that you will need, and use, while your flying.

For example… You want to fly from Tauranga, down to Kaikoura. Some of the things you’ll want to consider would be

Confined Spaces - by the ocean..
  • What’s the weather like in TGA, and in Kaikoura, and everywhere in between, and is it going to remain that way? What’s the wind going to be like along the route? What’s the cloud base going to be and how will that effect my plan? (Met)
  • What airspaces am I going to fly through, and what are the requirements of those airspaces (Law)
  • How am I feeling today, sharp? Or just a bit off.. maybe tomorrow might be better. (Human Factors)
  • Talking to the Control Tower at Tauranga, and to other aircraft enroute. (Radio)
  • If I decide to fly over the mountains, how is that going to effect the performance of my Helicopter. Or, I want to land at my mates place for a cup of coffee. What are the performance requirements to be able to do that? (Principles of Flight)
  • Where am I going to fly? What’s my plan? How’s the wind going to effect my track? (Navigation)

All of these examples are decisions that pilots make every day they go flying, and so having a good theoretical base helps in the decision making processes, to keep your flying enjoyable and safe.

confined spaces
Confined spaces training

At Adventure Helicopters, we think that the theory can, and should be, an enjoyable aspect of the training.


As part of most flights, an in depth briefing covering the lesson, and the theory behind that lesson, is a big part of the flight itself. This is why you should allow 2 hours, for a 1 hour flying lesson.


We also can help you with your exams. Believe it or not, we have instructors who enjoy teaching the theory, and we find that people understand that theory better by having an interactive lesson with an instructor and a whiteboard, than just reading it from a book.

We’ll arrange for you to get a set of your own books, from Brian at the pilotshop, so that you can revise in your own time.


Here are some useful links to various theory resources …

NZ Pilot Shop – Brian has all the gear you need..

Waypoints – Books and Mock Exams

Solo Wings – our fixed wing, and gyro, friends (they can’t help it)

ASL Exams – The ones you need to sit, and pass, as part of your license.


Flight Info Pack
Download A Flight Training PDF Intro Sheet

Rotor width
Marking the Rotor Width